We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet studies show that about 30 per cent of Hong Kong people don't eat breakfast. Breakfast provides us with the nutrition and energy we need for a healthy and productive day. After eight to 10 hours without a meal or a snack, our bodies need to be refuelled with energy. Breaking that fast with an egg tart or a sugary doughnut will not provide us with the nutrition and energy we need to make it all the way to lunch. Studies show that skipping breakfast or eating an inadequate one can lead to weight gain because you're more likely to snack and eat larger meals later in the day. Breakfast eaters are usually more productive at school and have better concentration and problem-solving ability than those who regularly skip breakfast. Research shows that by late morning, the brain function of children who don't eat breakfast is drastically reduced. A nutritious breakfast is one that includes carbohydrates as well as some protein and healthy fats. These help children learn better due to a slower and more sustained release of energy that helps maintain concentration until lunch. Short on time? Here are some ideas for a quick breakfast: *Wholegrain cereal with fruit and reduced fat milk *Sandwich with peanut butter and chopped banana *Fruit smoothie and bran muffin *Congee with canned tuna and assorted frozen vegetables *Microwave leftover rice with some frozen assorted vegetables, mix in some toasted cashew or peanuts *English muffin with ham and sliced tomato *Waffle with canned fruit and yoghurt *Porridge with raisins and chopped fruit *Baked beans on toast *Rice crackers with dried apricots and reduced fat cream cheese If you're not hungry when you wake up, you could pack some of these to eat either on the way to school or when you get to school. Try not to leave your home without at least drinking some milk or juice. Breakfast facts Nutritionists recommend that breakfast should provide about 25 per cent of your daily requirements. People who skip breakfast miss out on many important nutrients such as iron, calcium, zinc, B vitamins and fibre. A recent study published in the Nutritional Neurosciences journal showed that people who eat breakfast, especially one which includes a cereal, are less likely to catch a cold. Quiz 1. Which of the following cereals contains the most fibre? Muesli Porridge Cornflakes 2. Which of the following drinks contains the most calcium? Orange juice Coffee with milk Cow's milk Soy milk 3. Eating a sugary cereal bar is a good way to break the fast first thing in the morning. True False 4. Pizza is a good choice for breakfast. True False Answers 1. Muesli 2. Cow's milk. If you choose calcium-fortified soy milk or calcium-fortified orange juice, these will provide similar amounts of calcium as cow's milk. 3. False. Sugary foods lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar. After about an hour, blood sugar and energy levels go down and you start feeling hungry again. Your body then craves another sugary snack. 4. True. Pizza is a balanced food as it contains the four main food groups: grains (pizza base), fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, etc), milk (cheese), meat and protein alternatives (meat or nuts). Homemade pizzas are a better choice as you can add more fruit and vegetables. Takeaway versions are higher in fat and contain less vegetables.